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NHL Standings 2012: Bruins To Face Washington In Opening Round Of Playoffs

The Bruins are ready to defend their Stanley Cup title, and now they know who they'll face in the first round of the NHL playoffs: the Washington Capitals.

The Bruins were locked into the second seed heading into Saturday, but both Ottawa and Washington remained in play as potential opening round opponents. By virtue of Florida's win over Carolina (which sealed the Southeast Division title and third seed for the Panthers), Washington's win over New York (giving them 92 points) and Ottawa's loss to New Jersey (they also had 92 points, but less wins than Washington), the Bruins will take on the Capitals in a series set to start sometime next week.

The Bruins lost three of four matchups against Washington during the regular season, including a recent 3-2 shootout defeat on March 29, but should remain confident as hockey's second season begins. They proved last year that what matters most come playoff time isn't what happened in the past, but what a team is capable of when it matters most.

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